Oh no - I've really put my foot in it! Yes, it's another guest list dilemma...

Hi everyone!

So, I think I need to let out something that's causing me a right headache! I have ended up treading a very awkward path that I'm sure many brides and grooms have walked before me - I have said someone could come to our wedding who H2B is now adamant isn't invited! It's a little complicated though so you may need a cup of tea before reading further...

Who is this problem guest you ask? Well, I need to start from the very beginning (about 15 years ago):

My parents are divorced, not because they fell out of love, but to do with money. Without divulging too much of my family's dirty laundry on the internet, my mum ended up in some serious financial trouble; my dad had to divorce her to protect himself. However, that issue stemmed from the early 90s when I was in primary school: my mum made two friends - let's called them X and Y - whose daughters were in my class. She has been best friends with them ever since, although I have no contact with the daughters. X and Y were significantly richer than my parents and to cut a very long story short, my dad blames them for my mum's money troubles and their divorce etc etc.

Fast forward to the present, and my mum still sees X and Y regularly. I have seen them occasionally in the last few years and have no issue with them - I have mastered the art of not being biased! So, I shouldn't have been surprised when my mum asked me if they could come to the wedding. She is not in a good place right now, both professionally and personally (I am deeply concerned for her mental wellbeing), and she basically pleaded with me that she needed some friends there on the day for emotional support - H2B and I both think this is because she still loves my dad, but things have since happened that will mean they will never rekindle their romance.

Whilst I have no concerns that my parents won't be perfectly civil with each other during the day, I must admit that I'm not sure what will happen once my mum has put a few wines down her neck. H2B and I agree that she needs some friends there: there are only three relatives coming from my mum and dad's side so both don't have many 'allies'.

However, and THIS is the problem:

- H2B and I initially agreed that X and Y shouldn't come to the wedding due to the history. However, my mum and dad separately said that I should invite my godmother. She is going on 80 and wouldn't be able to travel to our wedding alone, so my mum suggested (sneakily now I think about it) that X and Y should bring her as they live close by and essentially be her carers for the day. I put it to H2B and my dad ("Would you mind if X and Y are there?"), but my dad wasn't bothered - he said we could invite who we liked. He is a very amenable person. So, we told my mum that X and Y were coming. 

- A few weeks later, my mum suggested that we actually invited my godmother's daughters as a family gesture. I agreed, but I said due to numbers that X and Y would need to be bumped down to the evening list (which I think is better anyway). Upon hearing this, H2B completely changed his tune and said that he no longer wanted X and Y there full stop - "Why should we invite people your dad hates?" I see his point, but he is fortunate not to be piggy in the middle in this entire situation. Oh, how easy life is when your parents are happily married!

- Another side issue is that my dad will have no-one but me, my brother and his sister to talk to on the day. He doesn't want to invite anyone as he isn't that kind of person. He is an introvert whilst my mum is the biggest social butterfly going. I don't want him to feel intimidated by a group of women my mum has turned against him (although they are respectable adults - I have no worries about anything kicking off)! I should also mention he is paying for half of the day.

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  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    - The problem now is that whilst H2B isn't changing his mind (and we argue about it whenever it is mentioned), my mum is talking about her plans when X and Y come to the wedding like an excited teenager. Literally every time she calls me, she talks about it. She even mentioned them coming to the ceremony (although I will happily stop that in its tracks). It is H2B who has a problem with them being there, not me, so I feel he should be the one to tell her. I should mention that I spent a lot of time with X, Y and their children growing up so they are hardly strangers to me. No different to the long lost relatives coming from H2B's side who have never shown an interest in him or our relationship. I should add that he has met X and Y before and even said himself that he thought they were nice people! Given my mum's emotional stability, I'm not sure it is wise to tell her X and Y can no longer come. The way I see it, our numbers (if everyone comes) are about 100 in the evening - we will hardly notice their presence surely?!

    WHAT DO I DOOOOOOO? (crying emoji face)

    If you read this far, lift your arm straight up in the air, put your hand on your back and give yourself a pat!

  • Oh dear! guestlists always seem to give headaches! 

    its hard to say what to do in this situation, but as you mentioned you are having around 100 guests at the evening reception so would you and hubby to be really notice X and Y?  And if it would be a good support for your mum it may be wise to have them there so you don't feel you have to keep an eye on her all day (and I don't mean that in a mean way at all, but youll have enough to think about! )

    Could your dad maybe invite a friend or someone to make sure he also has support (numbers permitting etc) or would godmother be sufficient. I think if your dad is sure he doesn't mind X and Y being there and it wouldn't cause upset then explain to hubby to be why you feel it's important to have them there. 

    Marriage is about compromise! :) 

    all the best and hope you find a solution xx

  • Anna22Anna22 Posts: 157

    If your dad was ok with X and Y coming, why is your H2B getting so aerated about it?  Is your dad really OK with it?  Why is your H2B so against it? Was it just becuase he saw X and Y as carers for the godmother and now the daughters are coming they are not 'needed'??

    Sorry, but I think that as this is all about your side of the family, I think it should be you that informs them of any changes (H2B shouldn't have to give them bad news, that should come from you)....

  • Karen62Karen62 Posts: 244

    Hi Lubes, 

    dont think I'm going to be much help but I do feel for you & didn't want to read & run, it's such a tight rope trying to balance the guest list.

    For what it's worth if your Dad really doesn't mind & you think it will help your mum cope with the day then it seems sense that they are there, however hubby 2b needs to also be happy with things it's his wedding too can you explain your concerns to him for your mum & the day & identify where his objections lie, is his worried for your Dad?, does he not like X & Y? does he feel your being manipulated? Sorry if this is off base I'm not trying to offend. 

    Your mum has helped to create this problem by first wanting them to bring your God mother & then wanting her children there, so she would need to accept that with numbers fluctuating the guest list does have to alter & it make be that X&Y are casualties, have you actually invited them yet & If so does H2b realise that it'll be awkward to retract the invite?

    As Anna says I'm afraid I do think you need to be the one to tell your mum of any changes & not expect it to come from h2b

    hope things work out for you stresses like this are a pain in the btm!!!   Xxxx

  • To be honest I'm not sure why your H2B is so bothered, especially as he was ok originally. He doesn't have a personal problem with them and your dad doesn't appear to be too bothered. It also sounds like what happened was a long time ago. I know this doesn't help your dilemma. It does sound like your H2B is protecting your dad, but does your dad need that protection? Is this an issue you can let sit for a bit, saying to your mum you need to sort the guest list as numbers are spiraling and you will make final decisions in a month or two? Might not work though if she has already told them.

  • RubyCatRubyCat Posts: 272 New bride

    So, what does your Dad say about X and Y coming? Does he care?

  • If your dad is happy with it, I think your H2B should be happy with it too. It's not clear why he's suddenly changed his mind!

  • I think you need to get down the bottom of your oh's objections. He has to be happy just like you, and he is more important than the other guests, including your mum. If he really objects to x and y (and esp now they're not needed as carers) then i would be inclined to retract their invites. If you are fighting over it, it's just not worth it.

    It does appear he's protecting your dad, and i can understand this. My oh also fiercely stands up for my dad as they get on really well- and it's more than I'd ever stick up for someone is his family. Is your oh just being very loyal?  Worried that your dad's enjoyment may be tarnished by x and y's presence? Your dad said he was fine but is he just trying to not make a fuss?

    This is going to be very difficult if your mum has already told them about the invite, but i agree that you should be the one to break any news of retraction of invites. Your oh sould have objected at first chance, and now its more difficult, but blood should deal with blood. We have our own situation brewing in my oh's side and I'm staying out of it. Good luck!

  • I feel for you! Sounds like a right pain, and I can totally sympathise with you being stuck in the middle, guest lists are more trouble than they're worth for most of us I think

    To be completely honest, I don't quite understand why your H2B has such a strong issue with X and Y coming.  I would agree with one of the comments above, that if your dad were upset then I could understand your H2B taking his side, but it seems that your dad is being good about not making it into that type of drama.  If it were me, I'd sit him down and try to understand why it's a problem, but if I couldn't, I'd let them come.  You're not having a tiny wedding or anything, two extra people won't likely make a huge difference to the happy couple, but from the sounds of things could make a huge difference to your mum. 

    It's hard to comment not knowing the whole situation, and I can imagine it's really hard for you - good luck!

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    hello all!

    thanks for your advice. it is so much easier to see the situation clearly when people from the outside look in.

    i am not bothered about revoking the invite - it is the reaction that i worry about. we are happy to invite two separate friends of my mum's who don't have any bad blood within the family. there is no hiding the truth though - i did already tell my mum that numbers were an issue, but she replied with 'i'll pay for them'. NOOOOOO. 

    H2B is completely protecting my dad - i side with 'team dad' as well, but i can't show my mum that! i too think my dad is trying not to cause a fuss, but i do feel uncomfortable with the thought of them at the wedding from his perspective. he is already totes emosh about 'losing' me on the day!

    she's on holiday this week so i have some time to gear myself up for breaking the news! we've sent out our day invites now, so there really is no mistaking that nothing is finalised yet as far as their place on the guest list is concerned! i just hope they haven't booked their hotel. that will be awkward LOL. x

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